Tuesday, 3 June 2008

dreams of empire


Sorry, still no bee stories.

It's been a Rather Peculiar Week. Family-wise.

The dispute with B's mum has escalated in to an exchange of letters (her to him) and emails (him to her). One one side these are hysterical and accusatory and on the other calm and very firm.

We are having a naming ceremony for Leo in the weekend after next at Ma's. Kate and Vic will not be attending. They are off on a round the world trip for nine weeks the weekend after that; and it is doubtful that we will either a) have the time to take him up to Merseyside for them to see him and b) have the good temper and self control to do so anyway.

It's all rather childish - but we don't want any more conflict and we don't want Kate trying to drive a wedge between us. Although outwardly I am quite calm about it all, inside I am icily angry at her, firstly for upsetting B so badly by flouncing around saying they wouldn't bother to come to Somerset if we 'weren't going to have a proper baptism, only a naming ceremony'; and secondly, for telephoning my mother and adding to her stress.

She has behaved really oddly; refusing to leave our house when asked, standing in our lane shouting obscenities at B as she was going; writing him a letter with a list of all the things they have done for us over the course of the last year and saying that we are ungrateful; trying to bully us in to doing things her way; focusing most of the foregoing on me.

Last night I dreamt that she was in bed with me, trying to push me out. My subconscious is obviously a bit concerned.

It has no need to be, as B has made it very clear to everyone where his loyalties lie. But neither of us thrive in an atmosphere of conflict. Also, Kate and Vic have arranged to lend us the money to renovate the house so that we can get a lodger and thus lessen our financial issues. Neither of us want to take the money as it is just going to be something that she can throw in our face; but she has transferred it in to our bank account, regardless.

I hope this makes sense. So much has happened in such a short space of time that I may have missed out huge steps in the turgid and emotional chain of events.

Gah.

Anyway, on a (very much) happier note - we spent the weekend with the downsizer.net crowd at a small farm just outside Carmarthen. It was great fun and very, very chilled out. About fifty people went, we ate, we talked, we shared skills like shooting; chicken killing and dressing; bender-making; knitting; and bee-keeping. We are going to do it again, next year, hopefully.

For now, that is all. B is away until Friday night. It's the first time that I have been alone with Leo for about four months and I am rather nervous about whether or not I will cope. So far though, we are doing fine. I have food prepared for us, his bottles ready for tomorrow and I am on top of the washing.

Now, I go to bed, to play some Caesar 4.

Edit to say: The very, VERY odd thing about the Kate Saga is that she is not AT ALL religious.


16 comments:

  1. Sharing chicken-killing skills sounds awfully Tennessee, not in a particularly good way (am I insulting Tennessee? - sheesh, you know what I mean)

    Look, darling, it's Kate's loss. What a shame that she is going to miss out on such a special occasion. Leo is your baby, not hers and a naming ceremony is a more sincere occasion than a baptism you don't believe in. For me, it's what you do and how that matters, not the lip-service you pay to religious correctness, and if Kate were to check the New Testament, she'd find that Jesus said exactly the same thing - I presume, as such a religiously-minded person, she was in church on Sunday so she'd have heard it; Matthew Ch 7 V 21, to be precise.

    You'll cope. Even if it's hard - and maybe it won't be.

    xx

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  2. Sharing chicken-killing skills sounds awfully Tennessee, not in a particularly good way (am I insulting Tennessee? - sheesh, you know what I mean)

    Look, darling, it's Kate's loss. What a shame that she is going to miss out on such a special occasion. Leo is your baby, not hers and a naming ceremony is a more sincere occasion than a baptism you don't believe in. For me, it's what you do and how that matters, not the lip-service you pay to religious correctness, and if Kate were to check the New Testament, she'd find that Jesus said exactly the same thing - I presume, as such a religiously-minded person, she was in church on Sunday so she'd have heard it; Matthew Ch 7 V 21, to be precise.

    You'll cope. Even if it's hard - and maybe it won't be.

    xx

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  3. Sounds llike you and Leo are snnug as two bugs After all the hub bub I would think the peace and quiet wouod be lovely.

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  4. Ok so the lady has gone uncharacteristically extra-nuts.
    I suspect early religious drilling and an irrational conviction that 'a proper christening' writes 'property of God and exempt from hell' somewhere on your soul in indelible pen.
    So many good Christians look upon the Christ-ing as the ultimate insurance policy without which there is no entry to eternal happiness - so that anything else is playing fast and loose with the eternal soul of a child they happen to love.
    The irrational fear that not having the right paperwork is tantamount to condemnation has been, well, entrenched in many people, from the altar, for a very long time.
    It could honestly be that the deepest darkest corners of her mind are screaming out that the two of you are condemning your child to eternal damnation, and if she holds THAT perspective she will see you two as the bad guys, as the danger, so that being clam and peaceable will only make her worse, as it will continue to make her feel unheard at a time when she sees crisis looming.
    Does that make sense?
    Have you thought of telling her you allow her to appoint herself as Godmother and to explain her personal beliefs with your children when they are old enough to understand? Might you be able to say that if the kids ever opt for adult christening and confirmation, you will honour their choices?
    I just wonder if that might put some (perceived) power back in hands, or give her some hope and something to pray for, and to at least make it clear that you are not actively blocking her God from speaking to your kids, if he happens to be both real and inclined. That could be her biggest fear of all.
    Grabbing at straws here.
    Hugs.

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  5. Ok so the lady has gone uncharacteristically extra-nuts.
    I suspect early religious drilling and an irrational conviction that 'a proper christening' writes 'property of God and exempt from hell' somewhere on your soul in indelible pen.
    So many good Christians look upon the Christ-ing as the ultimate insurance policy without which there is no entry to eternal happiness - so that anything else is playing fast and loose with the eternal soul of a child they happen to love.
    The irrational fear that not having the right paperwork is tantamount to condemnation has been, well, entrenched in many people, from the altar, for a very long time.
    It could honestly be that the deepest darkest corners of her mind are screaming out that the two of you are condemning your child to eternal damnation, and if she holds THAT perspective she will see you two as the bad guys, as the danger, so that being clam and peaceable will only make her worse, as it will continue to make her feel unheard at a time when she sees crisis looming.
    Does that make sense?
    Have you thought of telling her you allow her to appoint herself as Godmother and to explain her personal beliefs with your children when they are old enough to understand? Might you be able to say that if the kids ever opt for adult christening and confirmation, you will honour their choices?
    I just wonder if that might put some (perceived) power back in hands, or give her some hope and something to pray for, and to at least make it clear that you are not actively blocking her God from speaking to your kids, if he happens to be both real and inclined. That could be her biggest fear of all.
    Grabbing at straws here.
    Hugs.

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  6. I meant being calm, although being clam would probably be just as fishy.

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  7. Were I as intelligent and learned as Z, I'd have said what she did. Or were I as intelligent as perceptive as Cheryl, I'd have said what she did.

    As it is I recommend "arseholes to 'er" and do what you and Arvo think best!

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  8. Were I as intelligent and learned as Z, I'd have said what she did. Or were I as intelligent as perceptive as Cheryl, I'd have said what she did.

    As it is I recommend "arseholes to 'er" and do what you and Arvo think best!

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  9. Boy, family arguments. They are never fun and can cause such stress. I feel for you.

    I won't repeat some of the above wise words, but will add a couple annecdotes that may or may not help in the discussions.

    First, my father was an ordained minister. My family was raised in the faith. However, he was a wise old soul, and supported us in our own decisions. One of my sisters decided not to have the children baptised, but did want to do naming cerimonies. Rather than argue and stand away, he sat down with her, and helped write a new cerimony just for her children. He held his grandchild and named her without the use of religious trappings (though I'm sure he said a prayer in his mind). If a minister can do that so that he can be part of his grandchild's life, who is she to say different.

    Second, and perhaps more pertinent, this is a Christian mode of though, promalgated by the Baptists, that you must be adult to be properly baptised in the faith. That to do it young is meaningless as the young don't understand. The Baptists are not heretic, they are part of the Christian family.

    I'm not saying to become Baptists, but any CoE vicar would support your thinking.

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  10. Boy, family arguments. They are never fun and can cause such stress. I feel for you.

    I won't repeat some of the above wise words, but will add a couple annecdotes that may or may not help in the discussions.

    First, my father was an ordained minister. My family was raised in the faith. However, he was a wise old soul, and supported us in our own decisions. One of my sisters decided not to have the children baptised, but did want to do naming cerimonies. Rather than argue and stand away, he sat down with her, and helped write a new cerimony just for her children. He held his grandchild and named her without the use of religious trappings (though I'm sure he said a prayer in his mind). If a minister can do that so that he can be part of his grandchild's life, who is she to say different.

    Second, and perhaps more pertinent, this is a Christian mode of though, promalgated by the Baptists, that you must be adult to be properly baptised in the faith. That to do it young is meaningless as the young don't understand. The Baptists are not heretic, they are part of the Christian family.

    I'm not saying to become Baptists, but any CoE vicar would support your thinking.

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  11. Whoops, you'd said she wasn't religious - brain doesn't always take in what eyes read.

    A good many vicars are very reluctant to baptise children if their parents aren't churchgoers and offer naming ceremonies instead.

    I just wanted to add, please try to take in that she can't help how she feels at an instinctive level (in the way that Cheryl describes) and put it behind you, so that fences can be mended in due course. I'd send pictures afterwards with a sincerely worded card, saying how much they were missed, and in the saying of it, you may eventually start to mean it and by making the first move, you may enable her to apologise or at least be conciliatory.

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  12. Whoops, you'd said she wasn't religious - brain doesn't always take in what eyes read.

    A good many vicars are very reluctant to baptise children if their parents aren't churchgoers and offer naming ceremonies instead.

    I just wanted to add, please try to take in that she can't help how she feels at an instinctive level (in the way that Cheryl describes) and put it behind you, so that fences can be mended in due course. I'd send pictures afterwards with a sincerely worded card, saying how much they were missed, and in the saying of it, you may eventually start to mean it and by making the first move, you may enable her to apologise or at least be conciliatory.

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  13. You've gotten lots of good advice already, so I'll just nod and smile and say I hope things get better.

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  14. You've gotten lots of good advice already, so I'll just nod and smile and say I hope things get better.

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  15. Gosh, that's odd. I was going to make a comment to the effect of 'she's obviously a good Christian then, going around creating all that peace and love', but it sounds like she's just plain gone off her rocker!

    My mum, when I first got involved with Adi Da, would say things like 'but you were born and raised a Christian', until I pointed out that she hated all the church ladies and bitched behind their backs, and had never been to the local church in 20 years. That shut her up, and now, she's gone 180, and reads Adi Da's books, and has even been to see him, but that's besides the point, I think.
    What I'm trying to say a bit long windedly, is that Kate will come round, I'm sure.
    Meanwhile, take evasive action, and stand your ground.
    The only Hell Leo might go to, is one where his grandparents aren't around. I survived that one, I'm sure Leo will. My dad's parents had a huge falling out with my mum when I was Leo's age. It wasn't permanent.
    I hope she sees some common sense soon. I know, for MILs that's a pretty tall order sometimes, but she will. :-)

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  16. Gosh, that's odd. I was going to make a comment to the effect of 'she's obviously a good Christian then, going around creating all that peace and love', but it sounds like she's just plain gone off her rocker!

    My mum, when I first got involved with Adi Da, would say things like 'but you were born and raised a Christian', until I pointed out that she hated all the church ladies and bitched behind their backs, and had never been to the local church in 20 years. That shut her up, and now, she's gone 180, and reads Adi Da's books, and has even been to see him, but that's besides the point, I think.
    What I'm trying to say a bit long windedly, is that Kate will come round, I'm sure.
    Meanwhile, take evasive action, and stand your ground.
    The only Hell Leo might go to, is one where his grandparents aren't around. I survived that one, I'm sure Leo will. My dad's parents had a huge falling out with my mum when I was Leo's age. It wasn't permanent.
    I hope she sees some common sense soon. I know, for MILs that's a pretty tall order sometimes, but she will. :-)

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